One district is filling the need for Spanish teachers by having interns from Spain teaching Spanish language immersion programs. Four interns are part of Madison Elementary School’s Spanish Language Immersion Program (SLIP) in Winona, through the Amity Institute. The interns have opportunities to gain teaching experience while learning firsthand about American schools and culture.
The Spanish immersion program started three years ago at Madison elementary. First grade and kindergarten Spanish teacher Erin Weisenbeck has been with the Spanish immersion program since its inception. This is the second year that Madison has opened the program to native Spanish speakers. Weisenbeck says that the school felt that a bilingual immersion program would offer more experiences to the students.
“There’s a lot of teamwork here, where the kids constantly talk to each other,” said intern Julia Heredero. “We don’t emphasize that as much in Spain, where we give kids individual exam and individual work. I think that’s fantastic.”
The interns undergo rigorous screening and once approved are sent to different school districts at random. They live with an American host family for the duration of their time in the United States.